Liberal Arts is a program for students with a passion for human culture. There is plenty of space for students to develop their own community and as much learning as possible takes place in very inter-active settings. Small group discussion is built into all classes. There are also important extra-curricular activities such as trips to museums and theatres in New York, Boston, Montreal and Toronto.

Liberal Arts and Your Career

Are you worried that a broad, interdisciplinary education will not give you the kind of specialization you need to get into graduate school or to pursue a career? All the evidence points in the opposite direction: Schools of graduate studies, employers of all kinds, including in the business world, are looking less for narrowly focused specialists but broad-minded, well educated and articulate people. Besides, the Liberal Arts Program makes it easy to combine a specialization with your interdisciplinary education. Bishop’s Liberal Arts graduates have had an extraordinarily high level of success in their endeavours. Bishop’s Liberal Arts is particularly good preparation for careers in:

  • Education at all levels
  • Work with non-governmental organizations, charities and social work agencies
  • Law and politics
  • Medicine, the natural and social sciences
  • Private sector business

Courses & Programs

The program explores the Western cultural tradition in its myriad ways of expressing itself-art, literature, philosophy, music, science, society, politics, religion and so on. The Liberal Arts program offers Major and Honours programs, both of which are structured to accommodate students wishing to combine studies in Liberal Arts with studies in other programs.

Liberal Arts Honours Degree

(69 credits)

Liberal Arts students may opt to complete an Honours Degree. In addition to fulfilling the normal requirements for a Major (see below), an Honours student must register in the fall of his or her final year for LIB 400 (fall) and LIB 401 (winter), the requirement of which is to write a supervised, interdisciplinary Honours thesis. In keeping with Divisional regulations, at least a 70% average, calculated on the best 60 credits in the program, would be necessary for graduation with an Honours degree.

Liberal Arts Major

(63 credits)

The heart of the program can be found in the Liberal Arts Foundation Courses (LIB 210–218), each of which engages, in an interdisciplinary and historical way, with a key theme in the history of the human condition. Students enrolled in Liberal Arts are welcomed into Bishop’s with an introductory seminar (LIB 100) and culminate their experience with a final year seminar (LIB 300) or any LIB 300-level course. Liberal Arts majors also complete a series of requirements from other departments (see Academic Calendar), for a total of 63 credits. Students in the Liberal Arts Program are encouraged to complete a second Major in a discipline of their choice. Many courses may be counted towards the requirements of both Majors.

Popular courses
  • Introduction to Western Culture: All first-year students enrol in a small, intimate seminar course in which they get to know each other and initiate their career in Liberal Arts with the careful study of one of the world’s greatest pieces of philosophy or literature.
  • The Foundation Courses: Liberal Arts majors take courses that focus on particular historical periods, and study the most important philosophical, scientific, artistic and political events of that moment in the human journey.
  • The Interdisciplinary Seminar: In your last year at Bishop’s you gather with everyone in your graduating class for a small-group, intensive study of an interdisciplinary theme. It is a chance both to explore a rich and interesting topic and to do so with the very people with whom you will share the graduation stage a few months later.
  • The Honours thesis: Students can spend a large part of their last year writing a detailed, interdisciplinary thesis on whatever theme they find most interesting and engaging.
Students studying in the library.

Liberal Arts majors not only receive a broad and interdisciplinary education, but we organize the program so that you can easily do specializations (majors and concentrations) in other disciplines. This gives you all the advantages of a broad Liberal Arts education and specialization in one field. Arguably, Liberal Arts majors leave Bishop’s with the most thorough education you can get, and with excellent prospects for the future.

Liberal Arts majors attend and discuss everything from lectures to music performances, plays to art gallery openings – as part of their regular studies!

Liberal Arts students are invited to visit New York City. Students travel to New York and spend four days exploring the incredible culture of the famous Big Apple. You will visit some of the world’s greatest art galleries, perhaps see a Broadway show and enjoy some of New York’s famous nightlife.